Life Extension Magazine®

Different foods rich in magnesium linked to lower diabetes risk

In The News: October 2017

Nicotinamide riboside reverses muscle decline; combo supplement boosts bone density; magnesium lowers diabetes risk; alcohol linked to cancer; higher serum omega-3 reduces mortality; micronutrients inhibit kidney disease; Life Extension® disease protocols updated.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Increased Magnesium Linked to Lower Diabetes Risk

The results of a systematic review and meta-analysis found an association between increasing magnesium intake levels and a lower risk of type II diabetes.*

Xin Fang of the Karolinska Intitutets in Stockholm, along with his colleagues, selected for their analysis 25 studies involving a total of 637,922 subjects. Dietary questionnaire responses were analyzed for the amount of magnesium consumed.

Over the course of 4 to 20 years of follow-up, 26,828 cases of type II diabetes were diagnosed.

In comparison with the lowest magnesium consumption group in the meta-analysis population, men whose magnesium intake was higher had a 16% lower risk of developing diabetes and women had a 19% lower risk. For each 100 mg-per-day increase in magnesium intake, the adjusted risk of type II diabetes was reduced by 8% to 13%.

Editor’s Note: The combined data support a role for magnesium in reducing risk of [type II diabetes], with a statistically significant linear dose-response pattern within the reference dose range of dietary intake among Asian and US populations.


*Nutrients. 2016 Nov 19;8(11).

Supplement Combo Increases Bone Mineral Density

Bone Mineral Density

A trial reported in Aging found benefits for a combination of melatonin, strontium citrate, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 in postmenopausal women with osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.*

The study included 11 women who received a placebo and 11 who received 5 mg of melatonin, 450 mg of strontium, 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 60 mcg of K2 nightly for one year. Bone mineral density, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and C-reactive protein levels were measured at the beginning and end of the study. Bone turnover rate was assessed by the evaluation of markers in blood samples collected at baseline and months six and 12.

Those who received the nutritional supplements experienced a 4.3% average increase in bone mineral density in the lumbar spine, a 2.2% increase in femoral neck density and a trend toward an increase in total left hip density, along with a reduction in bone turnover in comparison with the placebo group.

Editor’s Note: Mood and quality of sleep also improved among those who received the nutrients, and C-reactive protein levels significantly declined.


*Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Jan; 9(1): 256–285.

Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation Restores Lost Muscles

Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation Restores Lost Muscles

A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found potential benefit for supplementation with the NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside in muscle maintenance.*

NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a compound made in the body that supports the mitochondria which serve as cells’ power plants, but it declines with age.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Joseph Baur, PhD, and colleagues genetically modified mice so the amount of NAD could be restricted to mimic normal aging. While the mice initially tolerated an 85% decline in intramuscular NAD without loss of spontaneous activity or exercise endurance, they began to experience weakness and muscle-fiber atrophy in early adulthood.

But giving the mice nicotinamide riboside resulted in complete reversal of muscle decline.

Researchers also discovered that over expression of an enzyme known as Nampt, which is involved in making NAD, prevented NAD from declining over the life of the animal and helped preserve exercise capacity. “This was supporting evidence that strategies to enhance muscle NAD synthesis might help to combat age-associated frailty,” lead author Dr. David W. Frederick remarked.

Dr. Baur plans to investigate whether restoring NAD could improve specific aspects of muscular dystrophy.

Editor’s Note: “[The mice’s] muscle tissue looked like that of Duchene’s muscular dystrophy [DMD] patients,” reported Dr. Baur. “The genes that were turned on and the presence of inflammatory immune cells in the muscles lacking NAD looked very similar to what we see in DMD.”


*Cell Metab. 2016 Aug 9;24(2):269-82.

Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk

Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk

The World Cancer Congress reports that consumption of alcohol caused over 700,000 cancer cases and about 366,000 cancer deaths in 2012.*

Researchers looked at data comparing the cancer risk of drinkers against that of teetotalers. They found that alcohol was responsible for approximately 5% of new cancer cases per year, as well as 4.5% of terminal cases.

At one-in-four cases, breast cancer was the type most closely linked to alcohol consumption. Colorectal cancer, at 23%, was next. In the case of breast cancer, it was especially clear that risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed, according to study coauthor Kevin Shield of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

“A large part of the population is unaware that cancer can be caused by alcohol,” said Shield.

Regarding deaths, researchers found esophageal cancer and colorectal cancer were the types most strongly linked to alcohol.

Alcohol is considered a “group 1 carcinogen” by the IARC, meaning it’s known to cause cancer, but the exact mechanism is currently unknown.

Editor’s Note: The report found the majority of alcohol-related cancers were in the US, Australia and Eastern Europe, although developing nations are gradually catching up as drinking becomes more prominent in those areas.


*Available at: Accessed July 10, 2017.

Higher Omega-3 Levels Linked to Lower Risk of Mortality

Higher Omega-3 Levels Linked to Lower Risk of Mortality

A recent study revealed a lower risk of death among women with higher red blood-cell omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty-acid levels over a 14.9-year median follow-up period.*

The research included 6,501 women who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study beginning in 1996. Red blood-cell polyunsaturated fatty-acid levels, which included the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and their sum (the Omega-3 index) were measured upon enrollment. The women were followed through August 2014.

Women whose omega-3 levels were among the top 25% of subjects had a 20% lower risk of dying from any cause over follow-up compared with those whose levels were among the lowest 25%.

Editor’s Note: Authors William S. Harris and colleagues estimated that an intake of approximately 1 gram of EPA and DHA daily would be needed to increase omega-3 levels from the lowest to the highest 25%, an amount obtainable by consuming 1-3 softgels of an omega-3 supplement.


* J Clin Lipidol. 2017 Jan - Feb;11(1):250-259.e5.

Greater Micronutrient Intake Associated with Lower Kidney Disease Risk

Greater Micronutrient Intake Associated with Lower Kidney Disease Risk

An article in Nutrients reports a lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease among men and women who consumed higher amounts of specific micronutrients in comparison with those who consumed lower amounts.*

The investigation utilized data from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study, which enrolled 15,005 participants between 1990 and 2001. Follow-up examinations were conducted every three years to update dietary and other measurements. The current study included 1,692 participants in the third follow-up survey, who were followed through 2009-2011. Dietary questionnaire responses provided information concerning nutrient intake.

Subjects whose folate levels were among the top 20% of participants had a 56% lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over follow-up compared to those whose intake was among the lowest 20%. For those whose intake of vitamins B12, C, D and E were among the top fifth, the risk was lower by 43%, 62%, 61% and 55% respectively.

Editor’s Note: Among minerals, an intake of magnesium that was among the top 20% was associated with a 59% lower risk of chronic kidney disease, and for the top intake of potassium, the risk was 53% lower.


*Nutrients.2016 Apr 20;8(4):217.

Just-Published Protocols in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

Just-Published Protocols in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

The scientists and writers at Life Extension® continuously update the online Disease Prevention and Treatment protocol chapters based on the latest research. Recent updates are briefly summarized here with complete versions of these chapters and references available online at:

Cancer Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer, but side effects and less-than-ideal drug selection methods have often precluded optimal results.

There are labs available that perform advanced chemosensitivity testing and genetic profiling to help improve drug selection to better match treatment selection to an individual’s cancer.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to ease chemotherapy side effects and may even enhance cancer cells’ susceptibility to chemotherapy. Research suggests that the antidiabetic drug metformin, and the spice constituent curcumin, may help circumvent cancer cells’ resistance to some chemotherapy drugs.

This chapter update reviews numerous strategies for mitigating chemotherapy side effects and potentially improving chemotherapy efficacy using novel drugs, lifestyle and dietary changes, and natural interventions.

Updated Hair Loss Protocol

Half of men experience hair loss by age 50. Among women, 40% lose some hair by age 70. For both genders, pattern hair loss is the most common type, usually associated with an excess of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.

Available drug and surgical treatments for hair loss are plagued by lack of effectiveness and side effects, and, in the case of surgery, by invasiveness and expense.

But new research has uncovered promising novel treatments for hair loss, such as platelet-rich plasma, topical melatonin, and topical vitamin D. Emerging investigations into hair-follicle stem cells’ role in regulating hair growth may lead to new treatments.

Moreover, integrative interventions such as solubilized keratin, essential fatty acids, zinc, and saw palmetto extract have been shown to promote healthy hair growth.